The "Conversation With Robert Kirkman" panel held Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con was just that: a conversation with the noted comic book writer and television producer. He came to the stage, no introduction and no moderator, and started taking questions from the audience almost immediately.
When he pitched The Walking Dead comics to Image, he told them he planned to reveal that aliens were ultimately the ones who caused the zombie outbreak. He lied. When the publisher read the first issue, and it was selling well, he said, "I didn't see any hints of this alien thing." Kirkman admitted, "Yeah, I lied to you guys about that." The publisher said, "It's probably better off without it." Kirkman doesn't have a favorite character from the comics, but he does admit that Negan was the one character he tried to kill off many times, and he just couldn't do it.
On The Walking Dead TV show, Kirkman promised that Maggie will finally have her baby in Season 9. He says that new showrunner Angela Kang has "a lot of cool ideas cooking for Season 9" that make him say, "Huh, why didn't I think of that?" He also asserts that there are "no plans" to make a TWD feature film. When asked about his favorite seasons, he points to Season 5 (which opened with Terminus and ended with Beth's murder at the hospital) and Season 7 (with the dreadful reveal of "Who did Negan kill?"). Season 1 was his least favorite.
With Andrew Lincoln leaving the series after Season 9, and Daryl poised to take his place as the male lead, Kirkman was asked about writing Daryl into the comic books. Kirkman explained that he couldn't for "legal reasons and rights issues," but he is OK with the character not existing in the books. "It makes each iteration of the story different from the other."
Kirkman also touched briefly on his non-zombie projects. On the animated series based on his comic Invincible, Kirkman is writing the pilot, and he says the show will be as violent as the comic book "without going beyond that just for the sake of it." When asked about The Secret History of Comic Books, Kirkman says that there are no plans for a second season, but he would love to do one.
In a separate interview with IMDb at Comic-Con, Kirkman addressed Lincoln's exit after Season 9. “It does make the difference between the comic and the show more pronounced. But at the end of the day, it’s all about Andrew Lincoln,” he continued. “This is a human being. This is someone I have known for almost a decade, somebody that I love. He’s been sweating in Georgia away from his family for so long.”
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